Diligent at-home care and regular dental visits in early childhood can lead to lifelong oral health, even though your child will eventually lose their baby teeth. Here, our Smile Town Langley dentists discuss the importance and impacts of early childhood dental care.
How important is early childhood dental care? The short answer is, "incredibly important."
Even though baby teeth (also called primary teeth) will be replaced by permanent adult teeth, dental care and at-home hygiene throughout early childhood can prevent foster lifelong oral health while preventing immediate issues.
Helps Prevent Cavities
Primary teeth are extra susceptible to cavities from the first moment they erupt. This is because their enamel is much thinner than that of permanent adult teeth.
Even though baby teeth fall out over time: usually starting at the age of 6 and ending around the age of 13. But, preventing cavities and tooth decay and allowing baby teeth to fall out on their own schedule is very important.
Tooth decay can cause discomfort, pain, and infection as it spreads deep into a tooth. If the decay becomes serious enough, there is even a chance that it will need to be extracted or that the damage spreads to the permanent tooth below!
Baby teeth also help shape to your child's face and guide your child's permanent teeth into place. If baby teeth are removed before their "scheduled" time, your child's permanent teeth may not have the room they need.
You can promote good oral health and prevent cavities by helping your young child clean their mouth daily.
Check their teeth for early signs of decay (white or brown spots on their teeth) and brush their teeth with a small toothbrush and a little toothpaste. As soon as your child has two teeth beside one another, start flossing for them.
Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Just like adults, children can develop gum disease.
Make sure you are cleaning your young child's mouth after meals with a soft face cloth to help prevent gum infections. You should start even before their first tooth erupts.
Gum disease can be prevented similarly to tooth decay. It is important to continue to encourage personal oral hygiene once your child can brush their own teeth
Encourages Lifelong Oral Health
Around 6 months after their first tooth emerges (or at 1 year old), it is recommended that a child have their first dentist visit.
Many children are nervous, afraid, or bored when they think of the dentist's office. This can make them resistant to dental appointments.
You help your kid become comfortable with the dentist by scheduling their first dental visit early and taking them for regular check-ups.
Regular dentist appointments also reduce the chances that kids develop significant oral health problems, reducing their exposure to the sometimes comfortable procedures associated with those problems.
As children grow up, they may begin to view visiting the dentist as a positive experience, leading to regular visits throughout their life and healthier smile too!